Sunday, March 6, 2011

Living Dead in Dallas Discussion - Sookie Stackhouse Book #2


Plot Summary (provided by Wikipedia):
This book opens with Sookie Stackhouse finding the dead body of Lafayette in the backseat of Andy Bellefleur's car, which had been left at Merlotte's the night before. Sookie learns that her friend had recently attended a local sex party. She thinks the members of that group might know something about her friend's murder so she starts "listening" to people's thoughts by using her special mind reading talent while working at the local bar.

In the meantime, Bill Compton, Sookie's vampire boyfriend, informs her that they have been summoned by Eric Northman. As a way to get Eric's attention, a maenad known as Callisto attacks Sookie on their way to Fangtasia, Eric's vampire bar. Sookie's wounds are poisoned, and she is healed by a combination of Dr. Ludwig's special treatment, and blood drainings by Eric, Pam, Chow, and Bill. Sookie is later given a fresh transfusion of human blood. Eric informs Bill and Sookie that they need to go to Dallas to help the local vampire leader, Stan Davis, find his missing "brother," Farrell, who has not returned to Davis' nest for five days.

The Dallas vampires, Sookie, and Bill learn that The Fellowship of the Sun (FotS) as well as a "renouncer" vampire named Godfrey might be behind the disappearance. Sookie decides to go to the FotS church with Hugo, Stan's human dish washer (although he is a lawyer in his regular human life) and the lover of Stan's "sister," Isabel, in an undercover mission. Sookie discovers that Hugo is a traitor, but her cover is quickly exposed when they meet Steve and Sarah Newlin, and she is badly hurt while trying to escape from the church. She does escape with the help of Luna, a shapeshifter, and Godfrey (who turns out to be a remorseful child molester and killer). After a run-in with more Supes, including an undercover doctor at a local hospital and some werewolves, Sookie ends up back at the FotS to be with Godfrey as he "meets the sun." That night at the welcome home party for Farrell, Stan's house is attacked by the FotS and many humans die. Sookie, unable to locate Bill, helps Eric remove a bullet that he took protecting her from the gunfire; he insists the only safe way to remove it is to suck the bullet out. In doing so, she ingests a few drops of his blood inadvertently. Bill returns soon after; he had chased down members of the FotS. He reveals to Sookie that Eric's insistence on sucking out the bullets was just a ruse to get her to ingest some of his blood—now he will have a connection with her. Sookie is furious at Eric. She is also angry at Bill because he killed someone and did not check on her before beginning his pursuit of the FotS. Sookie leaves the house and immediately flies back to Bon Temps.

Back in Bon Temps, Sookie avoids Bill for several weeks during which Bill "dates" Portia Bellefleur, who is trying to find out more about the sex club in an effort to clear her brother Andy of any connection to the murder. After seeing Sookie at a football game with Tara, Benedict "Eggs" Talley (Tara's fiancé), and JB du Rone (another male friend), Bill follows Sookie home and they passionately (and violently) reconcile.
The next day, Sookie is invited to a secret sex party organized by Mike Spencer. Afraid to go alone, Sookie asks Eric to accompany her as Bill is out of town. At the sex party, Sookie is surprised to see her friend Tara and Eggs and learns that Mike and Tom Hardaway murdered Lafayette. The party is interrupted when Bill, Andy Bellefleur, Sam (in collie form), and the maenad Callisto gather in front of the house. The maenad enjoys the drunkenness and lust of the party participants and eventually kills Mike, Tom and his wife, and another local named Jan. Eggs & Andy, under the maenad's spell, recall nothing of the incident - Tara is the only non-supernatural present with any recollection of the events (she was hidden and thus did not fall under the maenad's spell). Bill and Eric burn the house, and Eric glamours Tara so that she will not be able to remember what happened at the sex party.

Welcome back guys!  Glad to see you were able to make it for the Living Dead in Dallas discussion.  Like with the first discussion, below are some questions that we highlighted during our re-read.  Deanna and I thought they’d be good starting points for today’s discussion. We want to hear all your thoughts so don’t feel like you have to stick to answering only these questions so speak your mind and tell us what you’re thinking.  PLEASE remember that this discussion might involve people who are reading the series for the first time so limit your comments to books 1 and 2 only.  For all the re-readers in the house today we’d love for you to think back to when you first read Living Dead in Dallas and share your first impressions with us.

Discussion Questions:
  1. It seems several people are showing interest in Sookie right now: Bill, Sam, Eric.  What are your thoughts on each of these relationships?  Who do you think Sookie should be with?
  2. What did you think about Sookie’s freak out over being a ‘kept woman’?  (Refer to pg. 28)
  3. Were you surprised to find out there were other telepaths out there?  (Refer to pg. 75)
  4. Do you think it would be possible for vampires to go back into secrecy after such a public, world-wide reveal?  (Refer to pg. 106)
  5. Would you have listened to your instincts or kept going along with Hugo?  (Refer to pg. 125)
  6. What are your thoughts on Godric/Godfrey?  Did Sookie’s reasoning for watching him “meet the dawn” make sense to you?  (Refer to pg. 195)
  7. What are your thoughts on Eric saving Sookie while Bill went to seek revenge instead of checking on her after the shooting incident? (Refer to pgs. 210-216)
  8. The last two chapters pack a lot of information.  We go from Sookie and Eric going to the orgy party, to the Maenad making another reappearance, to finding out who killed Lafayette and then finding out about Bill being a relative of Portia and Andy Bellefleur.  Were you overwhelmed by how much information seemed to be put into such a short section?
  9. What were your thoughts on the participants of the orgy party?
What questions did you have while reading Living Dead in Dallas?

Favorite Quotes:
"You, on the other hand, are a sweet little eclair on the outside and a pit bull on the inside." - Terry about Sookie (pg. 21)
His arms circled me and drew me back closer to him. It was like being cuddled by a tree. - Sookie about Bill (pg. 61)
Maybe there really were fairies at the bottom of the garden, a phrase I remembered from a song my grandmother had sung when she hung out the clothes on the line. (pg. 63)
The gray jacket was on the floor, the white shell was discarded, and my arms were locked around Bill's neck before you could say, "Screw a vampie." (pg. 115)
"You are so lovely,"..."that if I slept with women, you would receive my undivided attention for a week. I know you are self-conscious about your bruises, but they only set off your beauty." - Farrell to Sookie (pg. 199)
"Can you refute it?" I was proud to use refute, which had been on my Word of the Day calendar. (pg. 234)

What were some of your favorite quotes from Living Dead in Dallas?
Have at it guys.  What are your thoughts, opinions and/or questions?


  1. It is crazy to see all of the people who have taken an interest in Sookie. I know that Sam has always had a thing for her and it completely threw me off when Sookie and Sam kissed. It seemed to be passionate yet Sookie loves Bill so she stopped. Of course then Sam was doing the dirty deed with the maenad so I think that turned Sookie off of him a bit. Eric is hard for me to gage. We still don't know him very well yet he is very attracted to her. Right now I feel like Eric is just interested in her since she is a challenge for him and we all know how men love a challenge. Then there's Bill the man who took Sookie's virginity...I really like them together as a couple. But I am very disappointed in him for leaving the shooting without checking on Sookie at all and yet Eric stayed with her. Right now I really think that Sookie should stay with Bill, but they have a lot to talk about and get figured out!

  2. Sookie's freak out over being a "kept woman" kind of annoyed me. I think that Bill was just showing her how much he cared about her by giving her the option of using the stores he is a land lord for now for free. She has the option of going other places if she feels like it but she knows that if she doesn't have the money she can use his stores. I also found it annoying because later on in the book when Sookie is in Dallas she has the workers at the hotel waiting on her hand and food and she mentions that she could really get used to it. So it's ok for her to charge clothes and food in Dallas but not ok when Bill offers her something as a gift and as his girlfriend??!! Now I do understand that Sookie is trying to stay indapendent especially with everything that has been going on but she doesn't have to use the offer Bill gave her.

  3. When Barry enters the picture at the hotel in Dallas I honestly have to say I was shocked! I don't know why, but in my mind Sookie was the only telepath in the world. I know this doesn't make sense because there are tons of vampires, shifters and they even refer to the maenad in a plural form explaining there are more then just the one who showed up in this book. Even being shocked though I was very happy. I think that this might help Sookie coup with her gift and I hope to see more of Barry in the future!

  4. Do you think it would be possible for vampires to go back into secrecy after such a public, world-wide reveal? (Refer to pg. 106)
    I was interested when reading the part about the vampires that didn't like that they had become public and really wanted to go back into secret. But really, how do they plan to do that when the entire world knows AND they broadcasted it on national television?? Do they plan on glamoring the minds of every human being on the planet? Or do they plan on just going back into hiding and hoping that their reveal becomes just another story passed down through the generations?

  5. I was completely shocked when Sookie kept having bad feelings about Hugo while heading to the Fellowship of the Sun building but never said anything about her uneasiness or threw in the towel and told Hugo something to make him think they would go back the next day. Now of course this wouldn't have made for an exciting story...but still. Everyone tells you to follow your instince and Sookie really should know these things by now right?!

  6. I really thought Sookie did something so sweet and right by going to watch Godfrey meet the dawn. I thought it showed him that even though he had done all of those bad things in his past that someone supported his decision because HE FELT it was the best decision for him even with several vampires thought it would be the wrong thing to do.

  7. I was not surprised that Eric shielded Sookie from the gun fire because he still needs her skill. I think he got pleasure in tricking her to suck the bullet out of his skin just because he likes power and thought it was great that he could now know what Sookie is feeling. I was very upset with how Bill handled the shooting incident. I thought it was complete crap that he went to seek revenge on the shooters instead of making sure Sookie was alright. I mean he claims that he loves her yet he doesn't want to make sure that she hadn't died?!?! Grrr...angry moment!

  8. 1. Man, Sookie is one lucky chick for sure. Bill I think is great for her even though he has his issues. Sam comes off more like a friend than actual boyfriend material. Eric is interested in her because, like I said before, she is not like the others, but I think he does genuinely care for her a bit. Also I think it has to do with the fact that Bill has her. So Bill...for now.

    2. I wanted to slap her over her "freak out". Bill is just letting her know that he is willing to do nice things for her and her reaction was just utter bullshit. I am so with you Deanna. She has complained about money issues in the book before and her boyfriend offers to help and that is her reaction?! Ridiculous! Everyone knows you are not a golddigger, so what the hell?!

    3. Not really, I was just waiting until they added one. I couldn't believe that Sookie was the only one. Maybe in the city of Bon Temps itself, but I believed there were others.

    4. I believe if they went back to hiding, people would still be out trying to look for them. Maybe overtime, but people will forever be curious.

    5. I would have listened to my instincts. The guy gave off too many red flags to me.

    6. I liked Godric. I think being as old as he was, I couldn't blame him for just wanting to end it. Though I expected him to be older (human wise), didn't think he would look like a teenage kid. It made sense to me why Sookie watched him "meet the sun". It was his final moments, it just seemed like the thing to do.

    7. I thought that was messed up as hell actually. I would have thought it reversed, but I think this is where we start to see that Sookie is actually starting to mean something to Eric because he could have just as easily joined Biil.

    8. Yes I was! I thought it was just me. I was a little thrown off to be honest. I was like, "Why not just make the book longer or wait until the next book?" It was just odd.

    9. I thought it was messed up, especially with Tara there. She didn't seemed possessed or crazy like the others. Also Sam who didn't seem all that upset over what was happening

  9. Hi guys! Sorry for showing up late to my own party. It's been a hectic day. *sigh* Okay so let's see...

    @Deanna: As far as all the male attention on her, I'd have to say that right as of right now they all have to prove themselves. Bill was a front runner up until he took off on her.

    I also didn't get the freak out. I mean I'm all for being an independent woman but, for goodness sake don't hesitate to spoil me if you're so inclined. I forgot about that scene. Quite hypocritical don't ya think?

    I guess I never gave the whole 'other telepaths' question much thought. I guess I just assumed there were more out there. Just like there's more than one vamp and were.

    I don't think the vamps can go back into hiding unless they wipe out every single person on the planet's memory. They opened the can of worms now they have to deal with it.

    I think I didn't give her a hard time because if it were me I wouldn't have thought someone would have the balls to backstab a nest of vamps.

    I agree with you D regarding Sookie watching Godfrey go off into that big coffin in the sky.

    LOL! Yeah I think Eric had that whole scenario planned. The crafty bastard. Bill lost MAJOR points with me during that whole scenario.

    I was kind of weirded out by the orgy participants. Brrr. However, I will never forget Eric's get up. ;)

  10. @Offbeat Vagabond:

    1. I agree with you on Eric being more intrigued by her because she's Bill's.

    2. LMAO! Well said!

    6. I thought the same thing. If I was that old I'd probably be over life too.

  11. The whole book in general had a lot going on from start to finish and I do agree with @Offbeat Vagabond that the end of the book ended in kind of a rush. But I still enjoyed it and I never felt lost. Did everyone else feel that way?

    I was very surprised by who participated in the orgy. Especially Tara an her fiance. I would have been very uncomfortable having an orgy with the funeral home director and my friends fiance. @Offbeat Vagabond, unlike in the show where it's made to make them all look like they are crazy I think in the book they weren't crazy they were just in the mood for lots of sex and adventure and somehow they all found each other to do it with. Tara was different because she didn't like the orgy idea but she was trying to go along with it for Eggs. @Jen D, I do agree...I'll never forget Eric's outfit either!

  12. Did anyone else notice that Sookie read another vampires mind in this book? (Page 83) Do you think this is ever going to become significant in the book or is Harris just trowing it in there as a reminder?

  13. Oh another question I had is what your are thoughts on Sookie's back and forth tug of war between if she really loves Bill because she loves him or if she is just infatuated with something like the sex. I think she really loves Bill but keeps getting reminded of how different they really are from each other.

  14. @Jen - That is one of many reasons I couldn't stand the most recent book (I know we aren't there yet, but still). If Godric was Eric's maker, then what was with the new guy (can't remember the name, something weird)

    @Deanna - It was very rushed, one of those things where you have to stop and take it all in if you will. That is true, forgot. They were feeling frisky, but seriously, I am so with you guys. Hard to feel frisky being around someone who works at a funeral home. Good old smell of formaldehyde. Oh yeah, sexy. LMAO!

  15. @Deanna - I do think that it is a significance that Harris brings it up a bit throughout. She said she is planning 13 books and we are going at 11. So I think this would be epic if Sookie is to gain more power given her bloodline.

  16. @Deanna - I think she definitely loves Bill, but again, the vampire thing must take a toll on her I believe. But Sookie has a way of second guessing people throughout the series though, to me anyway. I think it is also part habit.

  17. @Offbeat Vagabond Oh Godric in the books is not Eric's maker...that is an addition that the show makes. Godric is just an old vampire in the books and Eric's maker shows up later.

    I just find it weird that Sookie hears Eric's mind in the first book and then Stan's mind in the second. I'm going to keep track of how many she reads throughout the books while I keep reading.

    That's true, I think Sookie has had so much happen to her and has had so many people come and go in her life that she has trouble trusting people and even her own feelings. I think she loves Bill and I wish she wouldn't have the feelings of doubt over their relationship.

  18. @Deanna: Can't say that I felt lost either. I kind of like it when there's a lot of stuff going on. It usually means I won't end up bored.

    Funeral director...blech! Gives me the willies.

    I caught it this time around when Sookie read Stan's mind. I hope Harris decides to do something with it.

    Re: Sookie tug of war...I think it's normal to feel unsure when you're used being to read people's minds. It throws her off her game so to speak.

    @Offbeat Vagabond: D's right. I think they did that for the show but, he doesn't have any actual ties to Eric.

  19. Oh another quesion is why did the group decide to kill Lafayette? Was it just because he was getting mad at the group and then threatened to expose them so they killed him.

    He is still the one character on the TV show I'm so happy they kept instead of killing him off.

  20. @Deanna - Oh ok, then I definitely missed something. Nonetheless, I understand why he wanted to end it.

    I am so with you there. I think there is a reason it is always being mentioned. Definitely something to keep note of.

    I can't really blame Sookie for not trusting people. Given that she is a telepath, she knows firsthand the lies people tell and the fronts they put up. I think the reason that she can't with Bill and the other vamps is both a blessing and a curse.

  21. @Jen - Agreed, I wasn't bored or lost, but I don't know. Maybe it is just me, all the information just cramped in. I still loved it though, this is my third favorite in the series LOL

  22. @Deanna - That is a great question. I think it was because he was going to tell. Can't see any other logic reason for him to be taken out. That or he saw something he shouldn't have. I so agree, so happy they kept him alive on the show. He brings so much to it. So happy he gets his own love story too. That Jesus is hot as hell!

  23. Ok I had another question...what do you guys think about this whole Fellowship of the Sun group? When I read books I seem to not completely think reality through so when I heard about them I was shocked. Now I know that they are supposed to represent the Klan that the African American's still have to deal with till this day but I was shocked that their would be a group like this after Vamps since they are so strong and hard to kill. Were you surprised by this group? Were you surprised that they were going to try to kill Sookie because she associates with vampiers? Do you think the leaders really believe in what they are doing or do you think they are just trying to make a name for themselves?

  24. @deanna - I wasn't at all surprised. If this were real life, religious nut jobs would be my first choice to start something like that. I was a little shocked that they would try to kill Sookie just through association. Hell I would have at least appreciated it if they tried to "help" her, but instead they locked her up to be raped. I think they truly believe what they were doing and knew they would gain followers through their hate.

  25. Great discussion ladies. I wish I had time for the re-read. It's fun reading through your discussion though. Love this series.

  26. Thanks FV! Means a lot that you stopped by to check out the discussion. =)